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Fiber Compounds and Human Health

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 19 ]

Author(s):

Montana Camara, Virginia Fernandez-Ruiz, Patricia Morales and Maria Cortes Sanchez-Mata   Pages 2835 - 2849 ( 15 )

Abstract:


Background: It is known that insufficient consumption of fiber in Western societies is directly linked to certain diseases. The required daily fiber intake can be obtained from foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and others, or by eating foods enriched with fiber as a functional ingredient.

Objective: This review studies certain fiber compounds such as oligosaccharides (namely α-galactosides and fructans), arabinoxylans and β-glucans.

Results: The European regulatory body governing nutrition and health claims aims to protect consumers’ right to receive truthful information about food by verifying statements on "nutrition", "content", "health claims" and "reducing the risk of disease". Some of these foods and functional ingredients can be considered as "novel foods".

Conclusions: This paper describes the state of the art of certain fiber compounds and their effect on human health; the different requirements for fiber components used as functional or novel food ingredients; and the response of the European authorities to the use of this ingredient and its related health claims in terms of food labelling. After EFSA approval, these claims can be used in food labelling as an added value for consumer health, which may also improve their success in the market.

Keywords:

Health, fiber, oligosaccharides, arabinoxylans, β-glucans, health claims.

Affiliation:

Dpto. Nutrición y Bromatología II. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Pza Ramón y Cajal, s/n. E-28040 Madrid, Dpto. Nutrición y Bromatología II. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Pza Ramón y Cajal, s/n. E-28040 Madrid, Dpto. Nutrición y Bromatología II. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Pza Ramón y Cajal, s/n. E-28040 Madrid, Dpto. Nutrición y Bromatología II. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Pza Ramón y Cajal, s/n. E-28040 Madrid



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